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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
 |  Nov 17 2011, 10:00 AM


Giving us our first look at what the production BRZ will look like, Subaru has revealed a concept version of the rear-wheel drive sports car at the LA Auto Show. Sporting styling and performance additions from the brand’s STI division, it’s hard to miss some of the add-ons.

For a full-run down on the car, watch the video below and look for the production version to debut at the Tokyo Motor Show in just a few weeks time.

GALLERY: Subaru BRZ STI Concept


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 |  Nov 17 2011, 8:59 AM


Lincoln’s full-size crossover just got plenty of upgrades for 2013 including Continually Controlled Damping, Lincoln Drive Control, more standard horsepower along with a 1-mpg highway improvement, new interior styling, a new MyLincoln Touch system, upgraded exterior design and new safety and convenience features.

In its mission to make a full-size crossover ride smoothly and handle well, Lincoln integrated Continuously Controlled Damping (CCD) in its new 2013 MKT. CCD is available on MKT models with the optional 3.5L EcoBoost V6 engine. The adjustable suspension enables the MKT to offer a more confident driving experience regardless of road conditions. By utilizing 46 inputs to feed data to a control unit, the CCD module then calculates the optimal damping force every 2 milliseconds – that’s 500 times per second. On average, large damper force adjustments can occur in just 11 milliseconds.

The 2013 MKT also features three distinct driving modes: Sport, Normal and Comfort, are of which are easy selected using MKT’s new Lincoln Drive Control and shift lever.

Two engines will be offered in the 2013 MKT, a 3.7L V6 FWD with 300-hp and 275 lb-ft of torque or a 3.5L EcoBoost V6 AWD with 355-hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. The 3.7L V6 reports 17/25-mpg while the EcoBoost is a comparable 16/22-mpg. Both are mated to six-speed SelectShift Automatic transmissions with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, though each motor has different transmissions.

The new styling on the 2013 MKT highlights Lincoln’s progressive design with a new front grille, bumper and wheels. The 2013 Lincoln MKT is expected to arrive dealers this spring.

GALLERY: 2013 Lincoln MKT


See AutoGuide’s complete 2011 LA Auto Show coverage here

 |  Nov 17 2011, 8:48 AM


Lincoln has revamped its MKS for 2013, sporting a whole new exterior appearance as part of a change in the brand’s design direction.  While different, it’s not exactly a departure from the previous model, although with this just a mid-cycle update any drastic changes will have to be saved for the next all-new model.

Debuting at the LA Auto Show, the new MKS will have two engine options, a 3.7L V6 with 300-hp and 275 lb-ft of torque (available in FWD or AWD) and a 3.5L EcoBoost V6 AWD with 355-hp and 350 lb-ft of torque.

There’s no way to ignore Lincoln’s desire to move forward with its new designs. The front bumper, fenders, hood, rear bumper are all redesigned along with the prominent front grille. HID headlights and LED taillights bring the Lincoln up to par with its competitors while the 19-wheels are surely made to grab attention. If that’s not enough for you, Lincoln will be offering a 20-inch option for the new MKS.

Lincoln also enhanced the braking performance on the new MKS, fitting 13.86-inch rotors in the front and 13.58-inch rotors in the rear. Lincoln’s Continuously Controlled Damping (CCD) which is also found on their new MKT, can also be found on the MKS giving it a smooth ride without compromising its handling capabilities. Lincoln Drive Control also helps bring the MKS to life offering the driver the ability to easily change between Drive to Sport, automatically adjusting the handling performance, ride firmness, throttle response, shift feel, steering response and traction control of the vehicle.

Safety features on the new MKS include collision warning, new Lane Keeping Alert and new Lane Keeping Aid technologies – all of which help drivers avoid potentially dangerous situations. On the inside, the MKS has an all new instrument panel, MyLincoln Touch and plenty of new color schemes to choose from using new premium materials and genuine stitching.

GALLERY: 2013 Lincoln MKS


See AutoGuide’s complete 2011 LA Auto Show coverage here

 |  Nov 16 2011, 9:30 PM

Lamborghini Gallardo LP550-2 Spyder 04.jpg

If you thought that with the reveal of the Super Trofeo Stradale, Lamborghini was done spinning out versions of the Gallardo, you thought wrong. After a full schedule of press conferences at the 2011 LA Auto Show, Lambo has chosen an off-site venue for a private reveal of the Gallardo LP 550-2 Spyder – a drop-top version of the only rear-drive car the company makes.

Rather than just cutting free the front two wheels from the rest of the drivetrain, Lambo engineers have completely retuned the car’s suspension – due in part to the lighter overall curb weight. Even the aerodynamics were tweaked to account for the subsequent changes.

With plenty of drift capability in Corsa mode, Lambo insists this Gallardo retains the comfort and high-speed stability of its stablemates.

Powered by the same 5.2-liter V10 engine used in the rest of the Gallardo lineup, power output is rated at 550-hp, delivering a 0-62 mph time of 4.2 seconds and a top speed of 198-mph.

“With the Gallardo LP 550-2 Spyder, we are expanding the Lamborghini lineup with a purist model that adds yet another dimension of driving fun. This will appeal in particular to a very special group of customers that enjoy a spirited driving style and also like to experience the sheer pleasure of open- air driving,” says Lambo CEO Stephan Winkelmann “This special model with rear-wheel drive is a logical expansion of our lineup of spyder models with all-wheel drive.”

GALLERY: Lamborghini Gallardo LP550-2 Spyder

Lamborghini Gallardo LP550-2 Spyder 06.jpgLamborghini Gallardo LP550-2 Spyder 09.jpgLamborghini Gallardo LP550-2 Spyder 08.jpgLamborghini Gallardo LP550-2 Spyder 05.jpgLamborghini Gallardo LP550-2 Spyder 01.jpgLamborghini Gallardo LP550-2 Spyder 02.jpg

See AutoGuide’s complete 2011 LA Auto Show coverage here

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 |  Nov 16 2011, 8:56 PM


Slotting in above the Sonata and below the Genesis sedan, the Azera is Hyundai‘s highest front-drive offering, sitting as a rival to cars like the Toyota Avalon and Nissan Maxima.

It looks like a larger Sonata, and in many ways that’s just what it is, offering the best leg and headroom in its segment. Power comes from a 3.3-liter V6 engine making 293-hp and delivering a class-leading 20-mpg city and 29-mpg highway.

The real selling feature of the new Azera is how well equipped it is, with an extensive list of standard features, and some incredible options too. Interested? Find out more by watching the video below.

GALLERY: 2012 Hyundai Azera


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 |  Nov 16 2011, 8:52 PM


When you’re dealing with a true iconic vehicle, the hardest task of all is coming up with a suitable replacement. As we reported in Frankfurt, rumors that Land Rover would simply kill off the Defender have proven to be unfounded.

There will be a successor, reportedly a true global model (the current version hasn’t been sold on our shores officially since ’97) though at this stage, despite an introduction planned for 2015,  it’s still too early to tell how the next generation model will look.

The DC100 Concept and its roofless counterpart, the DC100 Sport, which made their North American debuts at the LA Auto Show today, hinting at just one direction the Defender could go.

Boasting a 100-inch wheelbase, hence the name (DC stands for, naturally Defender Concept), both of these vehicles  incorporate  short front and rear overhangs, plus high ground clearance to prevent getting stuck on really rough trails, a durable, washable interior that boasts seating for three up front (very Defender this), along with a number of high tech features such as a Wade Aid, which employs sonar technology to monitor the depth of water crossings, along with a Terrain i-system that detects potential objects and hazards ahead when off-roading. The DC100s also sport an 8-speed automatic transmission, permanent four-wheel drive and intelligent stop start, in order to save fuel.

Land Rover is also exploring a number of other interesting technologies for the next generation Defender, including Hybrid drivetrains (both with diesel and gas engines), physically decoupling axles (featured on the concepts), even self-healing paint. After all, as John Edwards, Land Rover’s global brand director said during their North American unveiling, there’s probably no vehicle on earth that has more dings, dents and scratches from exploring our wonderful planet  than the mighty Defender.

GALLERY: Land Rover DC100 Concepts


 |  Nov 16 2011, 5:40 PM


Kia has just announced at the LA Auto Show that they’ve teamed up with Kinetic Motorsports to campaign a pair of Optima SXs in World Challenge. The pair of race cars will join the Rio 5-Door B-Spec that debuted at the SEMA Show earlier this month as part of Kia’s racing efforts with Kinetic Motorsports.

The turbocharged Optima race cars are set to enter the Pirelli World Challenge Championship and will compete in the Grand Touring Sport (GTS) class. Interestingly enough, the Optimas will be the first Korean vehicles to compete in the series and it’ll be interesting to see if Hyundai follows suit sometime soon.

Drivers for the two vehicles were not announced, but Kia did reassure us that Kinetic Motorsports will continue the successful Forte Koup’s racing efforts in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge.

GALLERY: Kia Racing World Challenge GTS Optima SX


GALLERY: Kia Racing World Challenge GTS Optima SX LA Auto Show Debut


See AutoGuide’s complete 2011 LA Auto Show coverage here

 |  Nov 16 2011, 5:32 PM


Did he just say that? Yes, Fiat Brand boss Oliver Francois commented that the new Fiat 500 Abarth “arouses without the need for a prescription”. Spoken with a thick French accent at the vehicle’s launch today at the LA Auto Show, it sounds much more eloquent than “Viagra on wheels.”

Powered by a 160-hp turbocharged 1.4-liter multiair engine with 170 lb-ft of torque, it’s an over 50 percent upgrade from the standard Fiat 500. “When you see the scorpion you know the vehicle behind that badge packs venom,” says Francois.

Other upgrades include 16 or optional 17-inch wheel, a 0.6-inch lower ride height, 40 percent stiffer springs and adjustable Koni shocks. Larger brake rotors improve the stopping distance, while a custom aero kit help aerodynamic performance and looks great too. Plus, there’s a dual-exhaust setup.

Inside there’s a turbo boost gauge and shift light, with custom aluminum pedals, a flat-bottom steering wheel and red stitching on the seats.

Pricing for the Abarth model has yet to be announced.

GALLERY: 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth


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See AutoGuide’s complete 2011 LA Auto Show coverage here

 |  Nov 16 2011, 5:22 PM


The Honda Fit EV just made its World Debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show and we want to take this opportunity to tell Nissan that it needs to watch its mirrors. Promising a range close to the Leaf Leaf (123 miles vs 138 for the Leaf), and a price of just $36,625, the new Fit EV offers virtually all of the benefits of the Nissan, but with a  platform that has already proven to be versatile and fun.

Honda will initially offer the Fit EV on three-year lease plans for around $399/month and plans to find around 1,100 takers in those first three years. We don’t think that is an unrealistic expectation at all. The electric Fit joins natural gas, fuel cell and hybrids in the Honda lineup, making it one of the most diverse lineups in terms of alternative energy sources.

Honda will begin leasing the Fit EV to customers in select California and Oregon markets next summer, and will expand to six East Coast markets in early 2013.

Gallery: 2013 Honda Fit FV


 |  Nov 16 2011, 4:42 PM


Some used to say that Southern California was just about the only place in the world where it was truly practical to drive a British sports car.

Lack of rain meant Lord Lucas, the celebrated “Prince of Darkness” (an ailment related to the Lucas-brand electrical systems used on British cars) rarely struck, while the temperate climate almost never required the services of near useless heaters and leaky convertible tops. Additionally, dry conditions and twisty canyon  roads just begged for a bit of enthusiastic motoring,  an aspect, which when working well, such machines as Jaguar XK-Es and Austin-Healeys were able to deliver in spades.

Today, British sports cars tend to be a lot more reliable and leak free, as well as considerably faster and even better handling than those machines of yore. Nonetheless, So Cal is still considered to be their spiritual home. As a result, if a company like Jaguar is going to unveil a car with a ridiculous beast of an engine and a convertible top, it makes sense to do it at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

As Jaguar’s global brand director, Adrian Hallmark stated, the XKR-S convertible sacrifices none of the performance of its coupe counterpart and indeed, development mules spent hours and hours being flogged around the Nürburgring. Having sampled the regular XKR ragtop and the XKR-S coupe, we can only wonder the sensation 550 horsepower and 502 lb-ft of torque can do in an open top car that boasts a rigid, lightweight aluminum architecture, retuned suspension and steering, plus an upgraded Adaptive Dynamics system compared with the standard R.

Jag claims the flagship XKR-S convertible can sprint from rest to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds and will go on to  an (electronically limited) top speed of 186 mph. That makes it the fastest open top Jaguar ever built and also one of the most exclusive (Jaguar has said it plans to allocate just 25 examples to the US market for 2012). So if you want one as desperately as we do, better try and get your order in as soon as possible (the coupe version is already sold out).

Besides the ragtop XKR-S, Jaguar also chose Los Angeles as the North American debut for the C-X16 concept, which has been making waves since first being revealed back at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. Whether or more likely when, a version of this two-seat gas electric hybrid stunner will reach production still remains to be seen, though we probably shouldn’t rule out the possibility of examples sitting in Jaguar showrooms before the second half of this decade begins.

Gallery: Jaguar XKR-S Convertible


Gallery: Jaguar C-X16 Concept


 |  Nov 16 2011, 4:24 PM


Carroll Shelby was on hand for the unveiling of the 2013 Shelby GT500 on the eve of the LA Auto Show, calling it “the greatest Mustang ever built.” He’s got good reason to say so too, with Ford billing the car as having the most powerful production V8 engine in the world. Exactly how much is that? And what else doe the new Shelby GT500 deliver? Watch the video after the jump to find out.

GALLERY: 2013 Ford Shelby GT500


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 |  Nov 16 2011, 4:23 PM


The long awaited 991-chassis Porsche 911 made its North American debut at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show, packing more power, less weight and a longer wheelbase.

The base Carrera comes with a 3.4-liter flat-6 engine with 350-hp, good for 4.4 second 0-60 mph time (4.2 seconds with the Sport Chrono Package). Carrera S models get a 3.8-liter version of the same motor with 400-hp, taking 4.1 seconds to hit 60 mph (3.9 with the Sport Chrono Package and PDK gearbox).

The new 991 is 100 lbs lighter, while a 7-speed manual gearbox (the first ever on a production car) helps improve fuel efficiency. A Carrera will set you back $82,100 for a base model, with Carrera S models priced starting at $96,400.

Gallery: 2012 Porsche 911


 |  Nov 16 2011, 4:14 PM


Porsche took the wraps off their Panamera GTS sedan Wednesday at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show, billing it as “The Purest Panamera Yet”. The Panamera GTS offers a 30 horsepower increase over the standard Panamera 4 and Panamera 4S, and comes with standard all-wheel drive and a 7-speed PDK dual-clutch gearbox – no manual transmission will be available.

Upgraded brakes, a 10mm lowered ride height and Porsche Active Suspension Management are all standard, as are 5mm wheel spacers to give the car a wider track. Bespoke interior fittings distinguish the Panamera GTS from plebian versions. A revised intake and exhaust will give the driver more seductive V8 engine sounds, and a standard Sport Chrono pack and Launch Control allow for a rawer driving experience.

The exterior is given minor aesthetic tweaks, as well as an adjustable spoiler borrowed from the Panamera Turbo, but only the Porsche faithful will be able to spot the real differences. GTS motifs, both inside and out, complete the whole package. Pricing has not been announced.

Hit the jump for the official press release

Gallery: Porsche Panamera GTS


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 |  Nov 16 2011, 2:38 PM

While Volkswagen was displaying their “new” Beetle R “concept” and freshened 2012 VW CC at the Los Angeles Auto Show, there was also a new Passat sitting there which we have seen even more than the other two cars. Old news we were thinking… until Angus MacKenzie from Motor Trend stepped on stage.

Taking most of the assembled media members aback, Angus announced that the 2012 Passat had been chosen as this year’s Car Of The Year. From the largest field ever in the award’s 60-odd years of existence, the guys at MT picked the Passat. If we challenged you to name the 35 or so cars that were in the running this year, chances are you might have forgotten the Passat. But as Mr. MacKenzie pointed out, the new Passat was the best at meeting the magazine’s six judging criteria. We don’t have anything against the Passat, mind you, but we have to say that this selection was a big surprise.

 |  Nov 16 2011, 2:30 PM


No surprises here as Infiniti unveiled the official IPL G Convertible today at the LA Auto Show. Set to go on sale in spring of 2012, the IPL G Convertible becomes the second vehicle in the Infiniti Performance Line models offering special aerodynamic styling pieces, performance from the IPL-tuned V6, exhaust, suspension, 19-inch IPL wheels, and unique leather interior.

The three-piece retractable hardtop-equipped G features a VQ37VHR 3.7L V6 engine with 343-hp and 273 lb-ft of torque, an increase of 18-hp and 6 lb-ft of torque over the standard G37 Convertible. This is thanks to a retuned ECU (which also brings maximum horsepower output to 7,400-rpm), and a high-flow dual exhaust system.

Unfortunately the IPL G Convertible will only come with a seven-speed automatic transmission with Infiniti’s Downshift Rev Matching and quick-shift Drive Sport mode with magnesium paddle shifters and Adaptive Shift Control. For those that have had the pleasure of enjoying any of Infinit’s G-models with a manual transmission will know why we’re all a little bit disappointed that only an automatic will be offered with the IPL G Convertible.

Suspension upgrades include stiffer springs and Infiniti’s all-new HF-type shock. For brakes, 14-inch rotors are in the front while 13.8-inch rotors are in the rear. 4-piston calipers are paired with the front rotors while the rear gets 2-piston pieces.

On the outside, the IPL G Convertible has a different front bumper design featuring integrated fog lights with black finishers, sculpted side skirts and round chrome exhaust tips. The 19-inch IPL split seven-spoke wheels are done in a graphite finish, paired with W-rated Bridgestone Potenza RE050A rubber.

The IPL G Convertible will be available in two colors, Moonlight White and Malbec Black which can be matched to two interior colors, Stone and IPL-exclusive Monaco Red.

No options will be available for the automatic IPL G Convertible and Infiniti did not announce an MSRP.

GALLERY: 2013 Infiniti IPL G Convertible


GALLERY: 2013 Infiniti IPL G Convertible LA Auto Show Unveil


 |  Nov 16 2011, 2:30 PM


As promised, Infiniti has unveiled its entry into the three-row luxury crossover segment today at the LA Auto Show with the new JX. With the official reveal of the JX, Infiniti has also announced its pricing, setting the JX35 FWD MSRP at $40,450 while the AWD will come in at $41,550. Both vehicles are powered by a 3.5L V6 engine with 265-hp mated to a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) with Sport mode.

The Infiniti JX will be on sale at Infiniti retailers nationwide in spring 2012. Blending both luxury and style with Infiniti’s new design language direction, the JX offers superb legroom in all three rows with plenty of cargo space behind the third row. Infiniti engineers also designed an innovative entry to the third row without having to remove the second row child seat.

The JX will also feature Infiniti’s newest technology, Backup Collision Intervention (BCI) which will allow the JX to help the driver detect crossing vehicles and objects behind the JX when the transmission is in reverse. The system will even engage the car’s brakes if necessary to help avoid a collision.

As with any other Infiniti, a bevy of options were also announced with the JX: Premium Package ($4,950), Driver Assistance Package ($2,200), Theater Package ($1,700), Deluxe Touring Package ($2,550), Technology Package ($3,100), Roof Rails ($370) and polished 20-inch forged wheels ($1,600).

One of the newest features of the Premium Package that is worth mentioning is Infiniti Connection, which can automatically sync the owner’s schedule through Google Calendar and provide navigation to those appointments. In addition, the system will allow the driver to setup Drive Zone and Speed Alerts, among other multiple functions.

GALLERY: 2013 Infiniti JX


GALLERY: 2013 Infiniti JX LA Auto Show Unveil


Click here for AutoGuide’s complete 2011 LA Auto Show Coverage

 |  Nov 16 2011, 2:29 PM


Looking a bit like a junior DTM car, Volkswagen today showed off the “Concept” Volkswagen Beetle R, the same car that made its world debut a few months ago in Frankfurt - and it looks just as production ready today as it did then.

While the German firm was a bit tight-lipped about the details, they did say that this will follow in the GTI R’s footsteps as the second R model, “after we monitor reaction this week.” There doesn’t seem to be much of a reason to not build it, and the car looks as close to production as we’ve ever seen in a concept, so chances are this 260-ish hp Beetle R will be in showrooms some time next year.

As a refresher on what makes this particular Beetle special, this concept makes use of AWD, with fenders front and rear that have been widened by 0.6-inches on each side to produce a car that is 1.2 inches wider than the base model. Other striking exterior styling changes include large black gloss air intakes on the front of the car, not to mention a sporty rear diffuser with integral air outlets. Giant brakes with big blue calipers are easily viewed through the unique 20-inch chrome wheels.

Perhaps even more impressive is the Beetle R’s interior with some seriously sporty bucket seats and R logos throughout. The rest of the cabin gets gloss black accenting, blue highlights and the sort of high-grade features and quality you’d expect from a real Vee-dub.

Gallery: Volkswagen Beetle R Concept


 |  Nov 16 2011, 2:04 PM


A characteristically un-Subaru Subaru, the BRZ STI concept is our first look at the upcoming production sports car, which was co-developed with Toyota.

Painted in typical WR Blue Pearl (the Subie fanboys wouldn’t have it any other way), as a concept, and an STI concept, it’s a wilder looking version of what we’ll expect from the street car that will bow at the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show.

With a boxer engine that’s low down and front-mid-mounted, the car’s center of gravity is already excellent. This concept improves on that, however, with a carbon fiber roof. Until now all the Toyota FT-86 concepts have sported 17-inch wheels, although this car gets 18s, plus a massive rear spoiler and aggressive front splitter.

Subaru will hold a press conference later today to “officially” announce the car. Stay tuned to see if they release any new details then.

GALLERY: Subaru BRZ STI Concept


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See AutoGuide’s complete 2011 LA Auto Show Coverage here

See video of the BRZ Sti Concept below:

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 |  Nov 16 2011, 1:48 PM


Volkswagen today unveiled the freshened 2013 CC four-door coupe, with a revised front fascia and some spiffy new LED taillights that clearly distinguish it from the 2012 model.

Not much else has changed according to VW, but the German automaker did take a big step towards making the CC a bigger player by adding a five seat option in the form of a new three-across bench available in back. Engines will remain the same, at least initially, with 200 and 280 hp gas engines filling the engine bay, the smaller engine backed by a stick or DSG and the bigger motor going 4Motion and automatic only.

The standard equipment list on the 2013 Volkswagen CC has grown along with the occupant capacity, and now includes such features as “bi-xenon headlights with static cornering lights and a new LED rear lighting design. Also standard: fatigue detection, RCD 310 radio-CD system, stainless steel door sill plates and safety head restraints (front seats) with additional front-rear adjustment. In addition, new assistance systems are making their way into the CC. They include optional technologies such as Side Assist Plus including Lane Assist (warns of vehicles in blind spots and supports the driver via steering intervention to avoid an accident), Dynamic Light Assist (automatic main beam control) and a camera-based traffic sign detection system. Meanwhile, the ‘climate seat’ with integrated massage function optimises comfort,” according to the press release you’ll find after the break.

Gallery: 2013 Volkswagen CC


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 |  Nov 16 2011, 1:42 PM


After debuting a 3-door Fiesta ST Concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Ford has revealed a new 5-door version in Los Angeles today. Ford has made it clear that it will offer its vehicles globally, and so while the 3-door version will presumably be offered in Europe, this 5-door is all-but confirmed to be U.S.-bound.

Hot hatches have always been a popular segment amongst the tuner crowd, but only in the compact class – at least in North America. Now Ford is hinting it will bring the power level down a segment, with a 180-hp version of the Fiesta. That power comes from the brand’s new 1.6-liter EcoBoost turbocharged 4-cylinder with 177 lb-ft of torque.

Styling is inspired by the Fiesta WRC rally cars with an aggressive front end, aero kit and 17-inch wheels.

“The Fiesta has a rich history of high-performance models so a new ST performance model is a logical next step in our performance vehicle strategy for our global small cars,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development. “With a racing silhouette inspired by global Fiesta race and rally cars currently competing on the world stage, and influenced by the unique appearance of the all-new Focus ST, the new Fiesta ST Concept is an exciting demonstration of the road-going Fiesta’s potential.”

So will ford offer a 180-hp Fiesta in North America. We’d bet on it.

GALLERY: Ford Fiesta ST Concept 5-Door


See AutoGuide’s complete 2011 LA Auto Show Coverage here

 |  Nov 16 2011, 1:30 PM


If you’re into plus-size models, then you’re sure to appreciate the the all-new Hyundai Azera. Looking like a curvy Sonata but with some more meat on its bones, the Azera is all-new for 2012 and sports a more powerful 3.3-liter V6 engine making 293-hp and 255 lb-ft of torque. Using a six-speed automatic transmission Hyundai boasts it can achieve 20-mpg in the city and 29-mpg highway for a combined 23-mpg rating, which matches the Acura TL and Toyota Avalon and tops all other rivals (if you don’t include the rear-drive Chrysler 300). Hyundai also touts the car’s power-to-weight ratio, at just 3,600 lbs it’s quite light for a full size car and weighs 200 lbs less than a Buick LaCross and 400 less than a Taurus.

Back to the car’s design, along with a large chrome grille it gets plenty of chrome detailing (perhaps too much), as well as LED taillights and accent lighting, integrated exhaust tips and 18-inch wheels standard (19s are optional).

Fitting between the Sonata and rear-drive Genesis Sedan in the Hyundai lineup, few might remember the old Azera but that’s likely to change now. It stretches 193.3-inches and is 73.2 inches wide. (For perspective, that’s 5-inches shorter and one inch less wide than a Chrysler 300). With all that size, the Azera boasts more front headroom and legroom than any of its front-drive rivals.

Perhaps the Azera’s best selling feature is its extensive list of standard equipment. Included on even base models is leather, dual automatic climate control, a 7-inch display screen with navigation and a back-up camera, a power driver’s seat, proximity key, nine airbags, second row air vents, a cooled glove box, plus heated front and rear seats. Those looking for all the goodies can upgrade to the Tech Package with 19-inch wheels, a panoramic sunroof, HID lights, a power rear sunshade and manual side rear shades, a 12-speaker 550-watt Infiniti audio system, a power tilt and telescopic steering column, an extendable driver’s seat cushion, vented front seats and rear parking sensors.

GALLERY: 2012 Hyundai Azera


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 |  Nov 16 2011, 1:28 PM


As expected and right on time, Cadillac rolled out their new XTS Sedan today at the LA Auto Show, fully unveiling their new flagship luxury sedan. Confirmed is a 3.0L V6 with 300-hp under the hood powering the XTS Sedan boasting Cadillac’s Art & Science design language.

The 300-hp V6 is mated to a six-speed transmission and Cadillac claims it has “very impressive fuel economy”. Genuine leather and wood is used throughout the interior, giving it a warm and opulent feel; while the XTS Premium will ramp up the luxury inside with a suede headliner, special accents and two unique interior trims.

Cadillac also boasted that the XTS Sedan is their most technologically advanced vehicle yet, equipped with their Magnetic Ride Control and Brembo brakes as standard. Furthermore, technological advancements enhance the safety of the vehicle by utilizing what Cadillac calls a network of cameras and radar sensors to warn drivers of possible accidents before they occur. Their “virtual bumpers” allows for low-speed detection of hard-to-spot articles and can even stop the vehicle to prevent an accident from happening. Another feature on the XTS Sedan worth mentioning is adaptive cruise control with full speed range.

The XTS Sedan is confirmed to be the first vehicle in Cadillac’s lineup to come with their new Cadillac User Experience (CUE) which features advanced in-vehicle connectivity paired with an industry’s first multi-touch screen with haptic feedback (which vibrates slightly when icons are touched). CUE will be integrated into other Cadillac models including the ATS later this year.

GALLERY: Cadillac XTS Sedan


 |  Nov 16 2011, 1:14 PM

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Mazda unveiled their latest entry into the compact crossover market at the Los Angeles Auto Show Wednesday, with the 2013 CX-5.  The CX-5 will be the first vehicle to use a full suite of Mazda’s SKYACTIV technologies, designed to reduce weight and increase fuel economy without compromising the sporty character of Mazda’s offerings.

A 2.0L SKYACTIV 4-cylinder, similar to that of the Mazda3, will be featured on the CX-5, and while power and fuel economy figures weren’t announced 155-horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque, while two 6-speed transmissions, an automatic and a manual, will be offered. The Mazda3 can get as high as 28 mpg city and 40 mpg highway, and while the CX-5 may not match that, we expect strong numbers nonetheless. A diesel will also appear sometime after launch (Mazda gave no time frame, but has previously started that it will arrive, and initial driving impressions have been favorable. Mazda’s official press release is after the jump.

Gallery: 2013 Mazda CX-5

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 |  Nov 16 2011, 1:12 PM


A perennial best-seller in its current boxy SUV style, Ford has made a bold move, completely revamping the Escape crossover into a stylish urban machine, filled with high-tech features inside, and under the hood.

Part of the One Ford plan to offer global vehicles, this new sport ute replaces the current Escape in North America, as well as the Kuga in Europe – and actually looks like a natural design progression from that model.

To help deliver a nice entry-level sticker price Ford will offer a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder model, only with front-wheel drive, making 168-hp and 167 lb-ft of torque. Ninety percent of the volume is, however, expected to be EcoBoost models with a new 1.6-liter EcoBoost making 173-hp and 177 lb-ft, while a 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine replaced the V6 offering, delivering 237-hp and 250 lb-ft. And to help keep those V6 buyers, Ford has rated the 2.0-liter’s towing at 3,500 lbs. EcoBoost models will be available as either front or all-wheel drive.

Ford has yet to announce official fuel economy numbers but says the new Escape should improve on the old model’s rating by as much as 5-mpg.

Ford will offer an updated (and supposedly easier to use) MyFord Touch system, while a big selling feature will be the handsfree rear liftgate. A fancy option, with the key in your pocket, just use a kicking motion under the rear bumper and the hatch will swing open.

GALLERY: 2013 Ford Ecape


See AutoGuide’s complete 2011 LA Auto Show coverage here